I’m on Team Candy Corn. Where do you stand?

Half the country loves them. Half the country hates them. There is no in-between, no No Labels party for candy corn. (Dreamstime/TNS)

When people talk about how polarized our nation is now, I assume they’re talking about candy corn.

Half the country loves them. Half the country hates them. There is no in-between, no No Labels party for candy corn.


I am firmly on the side of Team Candy Corn, and for a very good reason: They are candy.

And all candy is good.

In general, I am in favor of maturity. With age comes wisdom, or at least with age comes experience, and with experience comes wisdom.

When you were a child, you spoke as a child, you understood as a child, you thought as a child. And, let’s face it, children are dumb. I mean, they can be smart, but they have not experienced enough of the world to have a firm understanding of what they see.

So as we become older and wiser, we need to put away our childish things, such as tastes and preferences and habits. Nobody needs full-grown men who refuse to talk to women because they are afraid of catching cooties, or women who while away their hours playing with My Little Strawberry Shortcake Ponies.

Except when it comes to candy. What you decide about candy when you are young always and infallibly holds true for the rest of your life.

When I was a child, I determined, after long contemplation and consideration, that all candy was desirable. It’s not a matter of preference or inclination, it is simply cold objective fact.

I would tear through my Halloween stash, probably faster than was good for me, eating every single piece of candy, even including Bits-O-Honey and Mary Janes. I think I still have a couple of small pieces of Mary Janes stuck to my teeth.

Naturally, I would gobble up every piece of candy corn. Not for the corn part, but for the candy. It’s chewy and sweet and tastes like vanilla and buttery caramel and a little bit like marshmallows. What’s not to love?

For a lot of people, apparently, all of it. The problems, they say, are that it’s chewy and sweet.

Some people say the texture is waxy. Some say it’s like plastic. I say they are probably eating it when it is too old — although I have no problem personally with gulping down stale candy corn.

And too sweet? The purpose of candy is to be sweet. Candy that is sweet is fulfilling its primary objective, it is doing precisely what candy is meant to do.

Some people need something to cut the sweetness of candy, an acid or a fat or something sour. And while I can see their perspective, at least in theory, I’m not entirely certain they understand what candy is all about.

Closely related to candy corn are those little candy pumpkins. These appear to be the same genetic material as candy corn, except shaped like pumpkins. These are also excellent.

But there was a time not too long ago — 2016 seems to be the peak — when candy corn makers were not satisfied with making regular candy corn. They wanted to experiment, to try something new. To go wild.

So one company, Zachary, turned out candy corn in such flavors as blackberry cobbler and raspberry lemonade. Meanwhile, Brach’s turned out French toast and maple syrup-flavored candy corn, and peanut butter cup candy corn (not as good as it sounds) and sea salt chocolate candy corn and pumpkin spice candy corn, which was positively disgusting.

Almost all of those flavors are gone now; Brach’s is now down to the classic candy corn flavor, fall festival candy corn and autumn harvest candy corn, which is just regular candy corn with some cocoa powder to make it chocolatey.

That’s good news. But if you’d given me pumpkin spice candy corn when I was a child, yeah, I probably would have eaten it.

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